Seattle fireboat fleet improving

When smoke filled the pilot’s cabins of the two Seattle fireboats fighting a pier fire on Lake Union earlier this month, firefighters donned oxygen masks so they could breathe. On the deck of one fireboat, the 80-year-old Alki, crew members twisted large, bright-red wheels by hand to aim water cannons at the flames.

The technology used by Seattle’s fireboats to douse the July 5 fire at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Marine Operations Center is decades old